Friday, March 30, 2012


I think pictures make a blog more interesting. Guess that says a lot about my blog, though, huh? **looking around at the lack of pictures** Still, it’s what I believe. I love photos! I just wish I could remember to take my camera with me more often. Or have more time to scan those photos I want to share.

Yeah, time. When you have a full-time paying job and want to write during your so-called “free” time, well, you writers know how it is anyway!

But I remembered to take my camera to work Thursday. I saw it sitting on the table at home Wednesday night and promptly stuck it in my purse because I KNEW I wouldn’t remember it in the morning. I hadn’t remembered it the past few mornings, so I had some logic going there! And sure enough, I would have forgotten the darn thing if I hadn’t done what I did.

So, anyway…on with the pictures. This one is of my office (yeah, I still can't wrap my head around that!). I guess it's a good thing I took this picture before I held the job for a year, because I'm sure it will look messier as the months go by. Right now it looks pretty impressive (well, I think so anyway).

My windows are dirty (from the outside – I'm on the fifth floor), so my outside shots are kind of blurry, but this is the view from my office. That is Main Street directly below and Third Street off to the left.

Isn't this red building the neatest thing? It's been there awhile, too (at least the date above it says so).

Here's a closer shot. It's amazing how elaborate they were when it came to buildings back then. Sort of like art work for the city, huh?

I believe that tall building is the Kettering Tower, but not 100% positive. Kettering Tower is the tallest building in Dayton (and it used to be Mead Headquarters).

If you click on the photos, they should enlarge (I say should, because they have in the past, so watch it go and screw with me this time).

I know – it's not much. But it filled a blog (ha ha ha ha ha!).

Hope you have a good Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Monday, March 26, 2012


Best weekend ever! Well, almost. But when you finish a project you thought might never end, it can make for a good one.

I've finally gone through SARAH'S TURN. Now I get to print it out and read it through, hoping I don't find any major mistakes (especially with those scenes I added!). Once I've done that (and corrected what I need), I'll send it to my friend who will finally, FINALLY, have the book to read.


I love the relief I feel when I've finished a project. I think that's my motivation to finish in the first place.

My husband will be teaching this Tuesday and Thursday. I hope that's all the time I need to read it through.

And another good reason for the best weekend ever – my husband put a bug into my head for an alien story. A story that's taking hold, too. We brainstormed on Saturday and Sunday and it was fun working out the details with him.

I had almost consigned myself with writing another ghost story. I even had the characters' names. But I really didn't want to start another series if I couldn't sell the first. The book will eventually get written, just not now.

So aliens it is. I just need to think of a title, first. How does TALL, DARK, AND ALIEN sound? Is it witty? Or too stupid?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Worth It?

I got less than 3 hours of sleep last night (uhhh…this morning) and I’m feeling it. My eyes are droopy, my sight is a bit blurry, and I’m in a daze. Was it worth it?

You betcha!

I don’t know what I expected when the movie started. I do know I wasn’t expecting to feel like I was reading the book all over again. But that’s what I felt.

“The Hunger Games” is a great book and a pretty darn good movie. If you read the book, the movie will not disappoint. If you haven’t read the book, but the movie looks interesting to you, I think you will still like it. In other words, you don’t need to have read the book to get it. It’s that good.

Since the only midnight showings I’ve ever gone to were for the Twilight movies, I was used to a theatre filled with young teeny-bopper girls (and their mothers). This crowd had a lot more male members in the audience. Let me clarify: male members who were not “dragged” by their girlfriends. Big difference.

We got to the theatre early (because my daughter is picky where she sits and wants to make sure she has THAT seat – she compares herself to Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory” in this regard) and I don’t mind the early arrival. Gives me time to read. Of course, it’s not always easy when people are talking, but I managed to nearly finish a book I had just started at lunch that day (I think I’m now on schedule to meet my reading goal for the year – yay!).

My next midnight premier will be in November, for “Breaking Dawn, Part 2”, of which they showed a very very small teaser in the movie previews last night. Just enough to whet our appetites. Also saw previews for “Dark Shadows” (oh yes, I am so going to see that!) and “Snow White and The Huntsman” (yep, that one, too). I have a feeling the movie industry will be getting more of my money this year than they had in years’ past. Too many coming out I want to see. I hope I find the time.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Happy Hodgepodge

My husband says I’m happier. I must be. I haven’t threatened to quit my job since I started the new one. Well, maybe since a couple of days AFTER I started (those first few days nearly made my head explode and I seriously wondered what I had gotten myself into).

Accounting is definitely more comfortable than sales ever would be. Makes me a little nervous when it comes times to sell my own books (and there will be a time, of that I’m confident). I guess I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I get there. At least I won’t have to face it alone. I have my husband, who is more than willing to help!

Tonight will be a late night for me. My daughter and I will be attending the midnight showing of “The Hunger Games”. Some people might think I’m crazy, that I’m a little too old to be pulling stuff like this. Well, maybe I am. But I love doing things with my daughter. Even if it means I won’t be getting much sleep. Sharing these experiences with her means more to me than that, anyway.

I just hope the movie is as good as the book. Maybe I should wear my shirt that states THE BOOK WAS BETTER, but then I may jinx it, so maybe not. And yes, I do have a shirt that states that. So does my daughter. I wore it to work (the old work – and it was Halloween) and not many people got it. They wanted to know WHAT book.

Ahhh, but when I wore that shirt to the FF&P conference, and there was an English Honors group at the hotel, too, THEY had no problem understanding it. One fella actually complimented me on it! It is one of my favorite T-shirts.

On my next post, I’ll let you know how I liked the movie. No review – I don’t do those. I’m always afraid I’ll give away too much. Heck, I feel the same way when I’m writing a scene and foreshadowing a future scene (have I told too much or have I just confused the reader? – that kind of thing).

It’s another warm day in the Dayton area, with rain in the forecast. I hope it holds off until I’m inside the theatre. At least I won’t be standing outside freezing (like we did for most of the Twilight midnight showings since 3 of the 4 were in November). It’s gonna be a fun night, tonight!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I consider it a good day when I learn a new word that I had been spelling incorrectly for many, many years. Sure, I subscribe to that word a day thing from, but most of those words are so obscure, there’s no way I would use them in my writing. I don’t necessarily want my readers to have to reach for a dictionary when they read one of my books.

Now, please don’t ask me what started me on this search, because I really don’t know. Sometimes I get this bug up my ass and decide to look up words I know. Well, in this case, thought I knew.

I was contemplating a blog post on the perks of writing when I looked up the word “perks” and saw it meant something totally different. Well, not totally different. I knew the meaning of the verb. I wanted the noun. There was no noun meaning listed. So of course, that meant I’d been misspelling it all this time.

I hate it when a word I use seems like it should be spelled one way, when in fact it’s completely different!

Problem with dictionaries is that they don’t tell you how to go about spelling a word. I always hated when I asked how to spell a word only to be told to look it up. Well, how can you look it up if you don’t know how it’s spelled? Dictionaries work when you know how to spell the word, but you want to know what the word MEANS!

In this case, came in handy and I stumbled across the word “perquisite”. It had the meaning I was looking for. If you shortened (abbreviated) it, the q can have a sound like a k.

So…is it perq? I mean, who says perquisite? Not me!

Oh – and what perk/perq in writing was I going to blog about? Rejections.

You see, I got a rejection today. Not from a query. From a job application (and an old one at that, since I applied at the same time as I had for my current place of employment). In the past, the rejection would have stung and put me in a funk for hours (because this was from a company I really wanted to work at). As I told my husband, I must be getting immune to those kinds of things and considered it a perk of writing (well, actually a perk from submitting).

He knew what I meant. I’m afraid if I spelled it the other way, he wouldn’t have. So, how do you spell “perk” when you want the meaning of perquisite? This curious mind wants to know.

Monday, March 19, 2012

What Month is This?

Saturday was a blur. No, I wasn't buried in my manuscript. I wasn't that lucky. Bills, taxes, and laundry kept me busy.

Sunday I was buried in my manuscript.

But even with all that, I was able to enjoy some of the beautiful weather we've been favored with. This is March, right?

On Saturday, my husband and I walked to Bob Evans for breakfast after dropping his car at Goodyear (his battery died and the car was due for an oil change). During our 1.2 mile walk, I felt like I was back in Santa Barbara. Beautiful blue sky, dry air (no hint of humidity), and 70 degrees.

On Sunday, it was warmer. We drove to dinner with the top down on his car.

I know this warm weather won't last. It's March in Ohio, it's not meant to. But I'll certainly enjoy as much of it as I can.

Oh – and my taxes? Filed. Took me until nearly midnight on Saturday, but I got federal, state, and local completed. Now I can relax and look forward to the Romantic Times convention without fear. And maybe finish editing SARAH'S TURN by Easter. That's my goal – it's been set.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Working in a large office building downtown does have its perks.

I arrived at work to be informed to go back down to the second floor. Now, if I was parking in the building’s parking garage, I would have come in that way and noticed it myself, but I don’t have a parking spot in the building yet (although I am on a waiting list), so I came in from the outside on the first floor.

Not sure where I should go on the second floor, I waited for another co-worker to arrive so I could venture down with her. Well, apparently I didn’t need to know where to go. I only had to follow the Irish music and that unmistakable smell of popcorn.

I was lei’d with some green beads (mine look like mugs of green beer strung together) and directed to the popcorn, cupcakes, Irish coffee, and punch. Wow! If I had known all that was going to go on, I wouldn’t have bothered to bring my coffee to work or maybe even eat my breakfast (because I’m not one to turn away from free food, whether or not I need it!).

Even though the big green day isn’t until tomorrow, I did wear a green top, green earrings, and a green bracelet. I’m saving my shamrock socks for tomorrow, though.

I may have married an Irish name (McKitrick), but I have Irish in my blood from my parents (my father’s mother and my mother’s mother’s father were born there), the Quigley and Stuart families.

So – do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Normally, all I do is wear green (and yes, I’ve been known to pinch those who do not wear the color on the big green day – even my kids!). I’m not a green beer drinker (heck, I’m not a beer drinker!) and frequenting a bar ain’t my thing, either. Television and movies (and books, too, I suppose) always make that look like fun, when in fact it’s just loud!

Whether or not you celebrate, I hope you do wear green! It’s the one day we’re all Irish.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Getting There

Editing is tough when you know you don’t have enough to hook a reader. New scenes have to be written to add suspense, which really slows down the process. Ah, but in the end, you have a stronger story. At least, that’s my hope!

Last night I finally got past the point of having to add new scenes to SARAH’S TURN (the sequel to THE UNCOMMON ONE and a book my friend has been pestering me to finish so she can read it). The beginning got revamped (pun intended) and I hope I’ve added enough to tease the reader to keep reading.

It’s been eye opening, to say the least. I harped on my poor critique partner that each scene should mean something, each scene should hook you to the next and what did I have? Interesting scenes, but nothing suspenseful. In other words – YAWN.

Well, maybe not that bad, but when my own daughter couldn’t get into the book, I knew something was wrong. All in all, it really didn’t take that much to punch it up, either. I had all the ingredients, I just needed to foreshadow a little more.

I’m psyched now thinking I’ll get the editing done on this book soon, since it was the beginning that needed all the work. And once I finish and send it off to my friend, I’m free to work on GHOSTLY LIAISON.

And I’ve also changed my mind about the next book I write. Now’s a good a time as any to wean from my vampire stories (unless I sell them, in which case – YAY!). I’m toying with another ghost theme (using a secondary character from GL), but I also have other strange ideas flowing around in my head (aliens, anyone?). I think I need a good brainstorming session with someone.

How are things going with you?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Times Have Changed (For Me)

Sunday night my husband and I were watching "The Amazing Race" on our DVR. We record the show and watch it later so we can zip through the commercials. However, when we finished the show, I noticed the DVR said 0% full. The last I saw, it said 50% full. I chose a show to watch and got a black screen.

Hmmm. Not looking good.

I rebooted the system. It starting this countdown, something it had never done before. I almost wish I had just turned it off and then back on first, to see if that was the problem, but now it was too late. My husband suspected it was reformatting the hard drive. He was right.

We lost everything. 50 hours worth. There were series I was in the middle of watching and some series we hadn't even started yet. At least it kept track of the series we want to record, although at this point, some of them are kind of useless.

There was a time when this would have really pissed me off. Not so much now. I know why, too. It's a time waster and I don't have time to waste like I used to (you know, because of that writing thing I do). But I do enjoy watching some shows with my husband, and he still loves to watch TV.

He's in the process of seeing how many shows he can download on the internet, especially since most of the ones that were lost were his. The ones I watch without him are available to me easy enough – I just have to find the time to watch them before they go away!

Technology promises so much, but can crash and burn like everything else!

Another reason I buy actual CDs of my music – and email my manuscript to myself after every day I touch it. You just never know.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Disappointing News

I know I've mentioned that I sent MY SUNNY VAMPIRE to an agent back in June. I was very excited – I had pitched that book at Nationals in NYC. Time went on and I received no word. I sent a nudge in September and found out she never received the material. Hope surged upward once again. And again, time went on without a word.

I understand agents are busy and I did my best to be patient. But after six months, I issued another nudge.

Yes, my novel was rejected. But in a way it was a good rejection (if there is such a thing). She loved my writing, loved my characters, thought the romance and conflict were great, she just had a problem with my vampires and wasn't sure she could sell them in the crowded market.

It's disappointing because I love my vampires.

It's encouraging because someone (other than a friend or family member) loved my writing.

I still have other options out there for my vampires, but if I get the same response, I may have to "shelve" these stories until I'm prepared to publish them on my own. I refuse to put these stories under the bed.

In the meantime, I'll continue to edit SARAH'S TURN because it deserves to be polished (and I have friends that want to read it). I consider this round of edits to be practice, if nothing else, so that when I get back to GHOSTLY LIAISON, I'll be even better.

Oh, and if you had been following THE WRiTE CLUB, I'll have you know I almost made it to the finals (lost by two votes). The piece I entered was the beginning of GHOSTLY LIAISON and I used the pen name of Jamie Stuart – a name I kind of grew attached to and seriously considered using as a real pen name, until I discovered too many other Jamie Stuarts out there. So, I'll stick with Stacy McKitrick. At least my name pops up first when I Google that!

Friday, March 9, 2012


You leave the house a few minutes later than usual.

You drive down the street and a car pulls out of their driveway. No worries. You’ll be nice and let them out.

He wants to turn left (you, of course, want to turn right). No worries. You can wait.

The school bus arrives at the corner and the guy can’t turn. When the bus leaves, a line of traffic is behind it. Meanwhile, you watch the minutes tick on by.

You finally get to turn right and stop at the light to turn left – behind someone who’s been waiting. The light turns green, but no expected arrow. You must wait for oncoming traffic before the guy in front and you can turn.

You eventually make the turn and proceed to hit every stinkin’ red light as you drive through your town. Well, except for one where you gun it as it changes to yellow (because you know that light takes too damn long to wait through).

You get into town and again hit the red lights. But you’re downtown and it’s almost expected.

A car drives up along your right (on a one-way street). You want to turn left at the next street. So does the other car. He cuts you off and you both turn. Then he stops to turn right into the parking lot on the corner. You step on the brake and bite back a curse.

You get to the parking garage and the little electronic doodad takes forever to recognize your badge.

You’re amazed your usual parking spot is still open. Ahh, but as you walk to your building, you hit every red light.

Wonder of all wonders, you make it to work on time. One minute early, even.

In the meantime, you’re amazed at how calm you’ve taken it all in. Because, frankly, you almost expect all that to happen when you leave for work later than usual.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another Series Ends and New Orleans Food

Last night, my daughter, husband, and I watched the final three episodes of Angel. I enjoyed this series and I even cried a little at the end.

Then my daughter had to tell us how the story lived on in graphic novels and what has happened since the TV series ended. Kind of spoiled my image of Wesley and Fred being together again, so I'll try and forget about what she said!

Next week we begin Firefly. I'm looking forward to that.

Now, another story of our trip to New Orleans (because I can only remember them in bits and pieces and I don't wish to over-bore you!)

On our first night there, we wanted to go to a good restaurant that we wouldn't necessarily find on our own. So my husband asked the security guard at the hotel to recommend a good place (because the locals always know where the best places are). He pointed us toward Mother's.

We walked the few blocks (weather was soooo warm and luscious I could have walked farther and wouldn't have cared) and arrived at this small place where you go up to the counter and place your order, then they deliver it to your table in paper trays. Nothing elaborate, that's for sure. I almost wondered if we were steered wrong. The place was practically empty and we were second in line.

By the time we received our meal (which was excellent, by the way), the line was out the door and down the sidewalk. The place was PACKED. Talk about timing. Apparently, it's that way every night (we were there on a Thursday).

Mother's is a place I would definitely return to (they are famous for their ham, but we didn't get that – I mean, we can get ham at home!).

On Friday night we decided to eat on Bourbon Street (where all the crazies are, I swear). I decided to be adventurous and sampled some Cajun-seasoned food (Cajun shrimp Alfredo). I usually stay away from hot and spicy, but the waiter assured me it wasn't that hot. One bite and I smiled. Yum, yum, yum.

And on our last night there (Saturday), we returned to Bourbon Street for dessert. Yeah, the conference had a dinner, yeah it had dessert, yeah we ate it, but I had to have a beignet and we were leaving early Sunday. If I had known what a beignet was when we went out for breakfast on Friday, I would have gotten it then. More yums (and a very full stomach). The things are covered in powered sugar and if you're wearing dark colors (I was), be prepared to have them sprinkled white! Great pastries. Their taste & texture are very similar to funnel cakes – if you know what those are – but in a square puff.

While I did get my magnets at Hard Rock and Bubba Gump (they were across the street from one another), we didn't eat at either place (for a change). Well, I didn't eat at either. Apparently my husband did eat at Bubba Gump, but then he was on his own a lot, and he just wanted a place to eat and read.

Hope I haven't made you hungry now. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Luck, Conference, and New Orleans

Nothing like being away from home when your credit card gets hacked. Yep, that's what happened to us while we were in New Orleans for the FF&P Fantasy on the Bayou Conference.

On Friday morning, my husband's phone constantly pinged an alert. I was up and editing, he was in bed asleep. After about the tenth ping, I woke him asking him what it was all about (the bank alerts him when the card is being charged and since we were together and it was 8am, I was pretty sure it wasn't us).

Thank goodness all of the transactions were still pending. Still, now we have to get a new credit card. You never realize how many places you have that thing stored at (i.e. automatic billing for the cell phone) until you have to replace it. What a pain.

I know it could have been worse and thankful it wasn't. The guy at the bank said he was in New Orleans the previous week and got pick-pocketed. He told my husband, "Try flying back home without a driver's license." So, in that regards, I guess we're lucky that's all that happened!

Other than that unfortunate event, the conference went very well. It was small – or would that be intimate? – and made for nicer workshops (where you could interact more easily). Even the pitches were relaxed (compared to RWA where I felt like a basic trainee soldier being barked at by the Drill Sergeant). I got to meet lots of people I only knew by name (since I'm in the FF&P chapter of RWA).

And the highlight of the conference was the Vampire/Ghost tour we took Friday night. Even got some extra-curricular activity watching during that tour. As our guide was trying to relay some horrendous information about the house we stood at, a truck parked out front started blaring music and hopped up and down. I first thought the music was causing it to jump. That wasn't the case. Yep, I saw an ass in the window. When they were all finished, one guy and two girls came out of the truck and screamed "I love New Orleans!" before walking away. And here I thought they loved each other. They sure gave us a lot to talk (and laugh) about the next day. Great conversation starter!

If there's another conference next year, I will seriously consider returning. I had fun. So did my husband. He said he wouldn't mind accompanying me again. I think he just liked the fact it was warm and he could go walking outside (instead of on a treadmill).

Next convention – Romantic Times (April, Chicago). Leaving the husband home this time. Definitely not his thing.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Back Home

It was a long drive yesterday. Fourteen hours in the car. But we made it back and I even got one load of laundry done (the rest will be done tonight).

Even if I didn't need to be back at work today, my husband would have. The manufacturing plant with the company he works for is located in West Liberty, KY. And from what we've heard, the downtown is gone – tornado flattened everything. The plant is still there (it was up on a hill), and everyone seems to be accounted for (thank GOD), but now my husband has to travel to KY and see about moving computer operations to the distribution center.

I had a good time in New Orleans, though. The weather was definitely warmer. I will try and report something later this week. Unfortunately, I was bad with the camera and didn't take any pictures. Go ahead – slap my hand. I deserve it!

Oh – and my pitches went well. Pages were requested and I've already sent them out. I didn't waste ANY time.

Now…back to dressing warmer. Brrrrr.